Even the most patient and mild-mannered of us can often find our tempers frayed at holiday time. But many people have a short fuse at the best of times.
Here is a tip for identifying what is usually the source of a short temper, and an excellent helpful hint for overcoming it.
Short tempers are often the result of perfectionism and anxiety. (For some help letting go of perfectionism during the holidays, see Transcend the Need for Perfection This Holiday Season.)
Here is the most important antidote to a short temper:
Be aware that you are not perfect.
Short-tempered people look for the same high standards and perfectionism in others as well as in themselves. As a result, they anger easily and are always on edge. For this kind of person, it is important to realize the true nature of humankind; they need to understand that they themselves are not perfect. If they are incapable of realizing this, they will be given opportunities to allow them to come to this conclusion as a result of external events. Something is sure to happen to wound their pride.
Perfectionists dream of doing things perfectly, and often they have succumbed to the illusion that they themselves are indeed perfect. In other words, they are people who aim for things that it is beyond their ability to attain. The higher they reach, the more pain they will feel when they fall. When something occurs to teach them that they are not perfect, the shock affects them deeply. It may be the result of some personal failure, or they may have this experience through receiving help from other people in a time of illness or some other misfortune. This mind of experience will allow them to realize their own imperfections. Some kind of failure will occur to make them see they are not perfect, resulting in their becoming kinder to others.
Adapted from Tips to Find Happiness, by Ryuho Okawa (Lantern Books, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Ryuho Okawa. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from Tips to Find Happiness, by Ryuho Okawa (Lantern Books, 2004).